30 Years, 30 Songs Pt.1

This was originally meant to be a 30th birthday post, where I picked the 30 most meaningful songs to me and shared them.

That's a pretty difficult task, to narrow down all my favorite music to 30 songs. And it's taken me several months to finish.

It's certainly not necessarily THE 30 best songs I've loved, but it is 30 songs that were very meaningful in my life in some strange way, and I tried to intentionally include different genres of music I love as well as include songs that everyone doesn't already recognize. Enjoy.

Ali In the Jungle by The Hours

There was a time in early 2011 when I lost all hope. If you know me, this is a big deal. I live on hope. I had lost my drive, my ambition to grow, I was stagnant, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I tried prayer, I tried reflection, I tried a lot, and nothing was doing the trick. Then I randomly saw this video online, and for some reason, while I watched this, my heart lit up. Hope rose like a Phoenix. Hope restored. So, yeah this songs means a lot to me.


Bartender by Dave Matthews Band

DMB has always been one of my all time favorite bands, and I'm sorry to all people who love to talk about how much he sucks, but if you think he sucks, YOU are the one doing it wrong and clearly not getting it. Fantastic musicianship, infectious grooves, and still providing room for emotional depth both in the music and the lyrics. This song is written to God, the bartender of life, and betrays a stark realization of our inherent need for mercy.


Bless the Lord by Andre Henry

This is probably still my favorite song written by Andre Henry. It's joyful and musically it just makes you wanna move, but beyond that, something about the words of this song... I just can't help but tear up. The act of willing yourself to worship God, commanding your soul to bless the Lord and boast about Him. It's just one of those songs that gets me. I couldn't find a video of Andre Henry performing it, but here's one of the Southeastern Singers doing it.


Breathe, Stretch, Shake by Mase

Whatever happened to Mase? If anyone knows what he's up to now, let me know. I have always been a fan of good rap. While Christian Rap and Hip Hop has had a few moments of greatness here and there, mainstream rap is mostly just so. much. better. And while I often hate the paradigm paraded by many mainstream rappers, they do show an aggressive ambition to hustle and win, and not only do I love that, but I find it lacking in much of Christian rap. So this one track by Mase struck a very perfect chord of the excellence and energy of mainstream rap, with lyrics that betray a greater sense of purpose. Plus, just a hot track.


Dancing In the Minefields by Andrew Peterson

The first time I ever heard this song, I cried. Like, actually cried. It was a little embarrassing. Actually, probably 80% of the time I hear the song, I cry.  I can still remember the first time I danced with my then girlfriend in her living room to this song. Realizing both the amazing gift God had blessed me with and also the daunting call to spend a lifetime loyally loving her was combined so perfectly in melody and lyric. The title of this song is engraved on the inside of our wedding rings.


Pt. 2 Will come soon. Hopefully you enjoyed this. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these songs. Agree? Disagree?

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When I hear these songs, this is me: